Veep Advocates PPPs for Oil

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has said government and the private sector should work together in finding the required resources to develop Ghana’s nascent oil and gas sector.Ghana has been looking for investments in a gas infrastructure to enable it harness gas resources from its oil production for the generation of electricity and development of a petrochemicals industry.The country recently obtained a US$10billion facility from the China Development Bank, of which US$3billion is set to be drawn this year for commencement of work on the gas infrastructure, among others.Addressing the opening session of the Third Ghana Summit, Vice President Mahama said government and the private sector need to work more closely to speed up development of the sector.The Ghana Summit 2012, running from 27th to 29th March, brings together senior government representatives, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation management, Ghanaian and international industry leaders to discuss new developments, strategies, local content requirements and project financing.It is organised by the CWC Group under the auspices of Ministry of Energy, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, National Petroleum Authority, and Ghana National Gas Company.The summit included an exhibition showcasing solutions, products and technologies by key industry players to the growing Ghanaian market. Vice President Mahama emphasised government’s commitment to operating a transparent oil and gas industry, and this was demonstrated by government’s initiative to extend the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative to the oil sector.The passage of the Revenue Management Law as well as other legislations in the pipeline, including a new Petroleum Exploration and Production law and a Local Content and Local Participation law, are expected to enhance transparency and accountability in the sector while also ensuring that Ghanaians fully participate in every aspect of the industry.Vice President Mahama stressed that it is important the indigenous Ghanaian private sector benefits more through the opportunities that are created by operators through local content.He disclosed that the local content bill, currently under discussion, will be sent to Parliament when members return from recess in May. He said the success of the sector largely depends on how much indigenes are involved in the industry, which incidentally was the theme of the three-day summit: Local content development successes, development and training of SMEs in Ghana, ensuring local content in oil operations in Ghana, and educating Ghanaians on how to position themselves in the industry.International oil companies operating in the country are working to improve local participation in the industry. Kosmos Energy have sponsored personnel from their offices in Accra to study in some American universities; last year 14 employees of GNPC, sponsored by Africa-focused Irish midcap Tullow Oil to undertake petroleum-related masters programmes in UK institutions, graduated and were posted back to their company.Tullow’s President and General Manager, Mr. Dai Jones, said investment into the oil and gas industry would have a long lasting effect on the country’s development than any cash flow to government.He said to ensure that Ghanaians derive the maximum impact from the oil discovery, Tullow has set up a local content department and have a register of Ghanaian suppliers who are constantly being trained to match the required industry standards.